Most of us don’t give much thought to our nightstands until we tuck in for the night and realize how convenient it is to have an array of just-in-case items within arm’s reach. Having a lamp on a small table by the bed means you don’t have to get out of bed and cross the room when you’re done reading for the night; you can just set the book on the nightstand, switch off the lamp, and snuggle under the covers. Nightstands are also useful for holding many items, including alarm clocks, eyeglasses, docking stations for cellphones, and even a glass of water to sip at night.
Though their styles and designs vary widely, the best nightstands are well made, easy to clean, and offer ample storage for a user’s needs. Some nightstands are just tabletops with legs, while others feature drawers or shelves and serve as catchalls for toys, pajamas, and other articles. Ahead, learn what to look for when shopping for the best nightstands, and see the top picks for several categories, including kids’ rooms, storage capacity, and a variety of others.
- BEST OVERALL: Alpine Furniture Winchester Nightstand, White
- BEST MODERN: JAXSUNNY Mid-Century Solid Wood Bedside Nightstand
- BEST RUSTIC: Ameriwood Home Farmington Rustic Barn Pine Nightstand
- BEST FOR STORAGE: Ashley Furniture Signature Design Willowton
- BEST FLOATING: Emfogo Floating Shelf with Drawer Rustic Wall Shelf
- BEST GLASS: FENGHUA S-Shaped Glass Bedside Nightstand Table
- BEST FOR KIDS’ ROOMS: Sorbus Nightstand with 2 Drawers
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Nightstand
Most nightstands are relatively small and squat by design: You should be able to get in and out of bed without bumping into them, and they should be just tall enough so you can reach the items on its surface while lying in bed. Nightstands are typically between 24 and 28 inches tall and range from 12 to 22 inches deep (front to back). Their width varies more, from as narrow as 15 inches to 30 inches wide or more. The best nightstand width for you usually depends on how much available space you have around the bed and the style of your bedroom furniture.
While some nightstands offer only a table surface, others come with one or more drawers or shelves for storing books and other items. If you are looking for extra storage, consider a chest-type nightstand, which can have three or more drawers, or a combination-type with both drawers and a storage cabinet.
When it comes to nightstands, there’s no one style that will suit all tastes. Furniture manufacturers often sell bedroom furniture in sets that include a bed, one nightstand, and one or more dressers. You can usually buy an additional matching nightstand if you want one on each side of the bed. If you’re purchasing bedroom furniture one piece at a time, don’t worry so much about matching the nightstand to the bed. Instead, choose a nightstand with a style that will complement the other furniture in the room. For example, a chrome nightstand with a glass top won’t look nearly as attractive next to a rough-hewn four-poster bed as a rustic nightstand made from reclaimed wood.
The most common materials for making nightstands are solid wood and engineered wood, including composite wood products that are made by binding wood fibers using adhesives and high pressure. Solid wood furniture is more expensive, and nightstands constructed of solid wood are often considered high-end pieces. Nightstands made from engineered wood are popular because they are less expensive. And, with advances in today’s engineered wood products, they are just as attractive and nearly as durable. Less common are nightstands made from metal—usually aluminum, chrome, or wrought iron—paired with wood or glass tops.
Our Top Picks
To qualify as a top pick, a nightstand must be durable, attractive, and spacious enough to accommodate at least a lamp, bedside clock, and phone. Most buyers also seek nightstands that will complement their bedroom decor and fit well in the room without crowding it. The following best nightstands vary in style, storage capacity, and design, but each would be an asset in any bedroom.
The clean lines and smooth white finish of Alpine Furniture’s Winchester nightstand will complement traditional, classic, and even modern bedroom decor. Made from pine wood, this three-drawer nightstand features quality dovetail joinery and ball-bearing slides for smooth drawer opening.
Because the nightstand’s body ships preassembled, buyers need only attach the feet to the bottom of the piece and set it up it next to the bed. Its white, painted surface is waterproof and easy to clean. It measures 28 inches high by 28 inches wide by 17 inches deep.
Authentic midcentury modern furniture is enjoying a comeback, but it’s usually priced accordingly. If functional, minimalist wood pieces are up your alley, this JAXSUNNY nightstand is worth checking out. Its geometric rectangular silhouette is supported by four tapered wood legs, and its single drawer has a cutout pull. The drawer is soft white and set in a stained wood cabinet, which creates an appealing contrast.
The nightstand is petite in size, just 23.1 inches high, 15.7 inches wide, and 11.7 inches deep, making it well suited to small bedrooms where floor space is at a premium. Minimal assembly is required, but step-by-step instructions are included. Two nightstands are included in this set, one for each side of the bed.
The simple lines and rural appeal of the Ameriwood Home Store’s Farmington nightstand will complement bedrooms with rustic and country-style decor. Though it’s made from laminated particleboard, its finish closely resembles reclaimed barn wood. A rustic black-iron pull adorns its single drawer, and below the door is an open cabinet for stowing books, pillows, or a woven basket or plant. If you’re going for the farmhouse look, the Ameriwood nightstand will fit right in.
It measures 24.44 inches high, 17.81 inches wide, and 17 inches deep. Some assembly is required, and complete instructions are included.
Maximize your storage space with this nightstand from Signature Design by Ashley’s Willowton collection. This piece has a wood-stained top and an antique white cabinet accented by antique brass-tone pulls on its drawers. While the nightstand itself is designed to complement country and rustic decor, it would also look great in bedrooms with shabby chic or boho stylings.
This two-drawer nightstand measures 25.67 inches high, 23.74 inches wide, and 15.75 inches deep, providing ample storage space and a large top surface for a lamp and much more. One of this nightstand’s coolest and most unexpected features is the USB hub located at the back of its tabletop, so you can charge your mobile phone as you sleep. Minimal assembly is required.
If you want to keep an alarm clock or small lamp by the bed but don’t want a traditional nightstand, check out this set of floating wall shelves from Emfogo. This compact drawer shelf attaches to the wall and measures just 12.4 inches wide by 5.1 inches deep by 2.7 inches high. It’s not going to hold a large lamp, but a smaller one should fit just fine.
This is a set of two floating shelves: one shelf has a single drawer, and the other has two side-by-side drawers in which you can stow small items like eyeglasses, phones, or watches. The floating shelves are made from engineered wood and have a textured, wood-look surface. They come preassembled, so just attach the knobs and follow the installation instructions and they’ll be set up in no time.
Add crystal-clear appeal to any bedroom decor with FENGHUA’s solid glass nightstand. Its eye-catching S-shape gives you three horizontal surfaces on which to store a lamp, books, and other items. This nightstand is the ultimate in easy-clean furniture—just wipe away spills or crumbs, and then spritz on window cleaner to wipe away fingerprints. As convenient as it is to clean, a glass nightstand may not be the best choice for those with young children.
The stand measures 24 inches high, 16.5 inches wide, and 14.5 inches deep, and requires no assembly.
For nurseries and kids’ rooms, the Sorbus bedside nightstand is just the ticket. It features two soft, fabric-covered drawers that can be removed entirely from the stand for easy access to the items stored within. The stand’s frame is made from coated steel, and its medium-density fiberboard top provides a sturdy surface for books and a lamp. It’s 20 inches high, which is just the right height for use beside a low-profile child’s bed. It’s 17.75 inches wide and 11.87 inches deep. This bed requires minimal assembly.
FAQs About Nightstands
Nightstands are all about convenience, but they also play a role in the bedroom’s style and design. If this is the first time you’ve shopped for a nightstand, you likely have some questions.
Q. Should nightstands match?
Nightstands don’t have to match. Matching nightstands give a bedroom a symmetrical look, but mismatched nightstands in the same style, such as country or contemporary, can add interest to a room.
Q. How close should nightstands be to the bed?
A nightstand should be close enough to the bed that you can easily reach it while lying down, but not so close that you can’t change bedsheets. A distance of about 3 to 5 inches between the bed and the nightstand is a good compromise.
Q. How can I balance a bedroom with only one nightstand?
Small bedrooms and single-sleeper beds often need just one nightstand. To visually balance the look, add a decorative item on the other side of the bed—perhaps a potted plant, a painting on the wall, or an accent chair.